Recording Monitor Level?

Everything is hooked up properly as I attempt to record from a Cassette tape deck.

As I record, the monitor level goes to the max, even when the “recording level” is at minimum.
It does affect the volume level as I go from “minimum to maximum” very minimal as it stays way, way to high.
Kenwood cassette tape deck does not have a record out level adjustment.

It will not decrease enough to keep it from “spiking”
I am using 2.1.2. On a windows 7 set up.
Cables going from “play out” into headphone jack on HP Pavilion, laptop, Windows Home Premium
Yet, the monitor level stays way to high.
Please help me?? I will co-operate as best I can.
I am technically able.

A “headphone” socket is of course an “output” rather than an “input”.

I presume that the socket is a combined headphone / microphone socket, so you are in fact using it as a microphone input.
There’s a problem with that, possibly two problems.
The first and most serious is that the signal level of a microphone is around 1000 times smaller than the signal from a cassette deck. That’s why you can’t turn the level down low enough.
The other common problem is that microphone inputs are usually mono.

The solution is to get a USB sound card that has stereo “line level” inputs.

Does your cassette player have any control over its output level? I’m guessing not, in which case I would recommend getting a USB sound card that has an input level control.

I have the Tape deck output (RCA to stereo 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) mini-jack cable stereo plugs into the microphone input of the computer.
Have used Audacity for many purposes in the past as a mixer of files.
This is my first experience down loading from analog to digital with Audacity.
Will check into your advice, thank you.

A Behringer UCA-202 (or the “222” version) may work for you (it’s what I use). They are inexpensive (around $30 US) and give great sound quality for the price. The main drawback is that they don’t have an input volume control, so it is possible that with a very loud tape, the sound card input could be overloaded (but no where near as badly as you are currently experiencing). I mostly use my UCA-202 with a mixing desk, so the absence of an input level control is not a problem. I have used it with a CD player, cassette player and MiniDisk player - the MiniDisk player has an output level control, so that was no problem. The level from the CD player is fine. The level from the cassette player is usually fine, but occasionally it can get a bit too high with metal or chrome tapes that have been recorded at a very high level.

(If I relied on the UCA-202 for recording cassettes, I’d probably make an attenuator box to go between the cassette player and the sound card).

Thank you, going to pursue this and check it out.
Will get back with you on results.
Again, thank you for the education and time.